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Nashville Predators vs. St. Louis Blues Preview: Nationwide

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After a convincing 7-1 win against San Jose on Thursday (and Rinne’s 300th win), the Predators look to show their strength against St. Louis today on a national broadcast.

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Thursday’s game was a lot of fun. I actually got tired of the up-down-up-down cheering in the third period because of all the goals. Pekka Rinne was rewarded with a 300th career win, and seven Predators contributed to the victory against San Jose.

The Blues are right in the middle of a tight Central Division race. They don’t have much of a gap on the Minnesota Wild for the fourth-place position, and that middle ground is highly contested.

That being said, another important game for the Predators is upon us. This game will be broadcast on NBC. The Predators will have to prove that they deserve their first-place position at the top of the Central.

The top teams in the League will be watching what Nashville does in their next 20-ish games. The trade deadline is tomorrow, and it seems that the big powerhouse teams are loading up for the long run: Derrick Brassard to Pittsburgh, Michael Grabner to New Jersey, etc. Will Nashville’s play today force David Poile’s hand, or does he already have plans?

The St. Louis Blues

The Blues played the Winnipeg Jets on Friday. They were completely overpowered by the high-flying Jets and were unable to score any goals on Connor Hellebuyck. That can’t sit well for them, so they’re going to be coming to Nashville with a bitter taste in their mouth.

Brayden Schenn still leads the Blues in points with 55, including 24 goals. Lethal Russian sniper Vladimir Tarasenko has 53 points, and Jaden Schwartz has 42 points.

Carter Hutton has a .938 save percentage, and Jake Allen has a .906. Hutton had the last start against Nashville, so we could see Allen in goal today.

The Blues recently acquired Nikita Soshnikov from the Toronto Maple Leafs. He was acquired for a draft pick in 2019. The 24-year old has seven goals and seven assists in 70 NHL games.

The Blues are 34-24-4. They’re still alive in terms of playoff contention, but the Central is a scary place to be right now.

One also has to wonder whether the Blues will acquire another forward before Monday’s trade deadline.

The Nashville Predators

With two days of rest between Thursday’s rout of the Sharks and today’s game, the Predators have had ample time to heal up. This is especially important when it comes to keeping key players healthy down the stretch.

Kevin Fiala scored his 19th goal of the season on Thursday, and Viktor Arvidsson has 22 goals on the season. Ryan Johansen has a ridiculous 39 points on the season, including 8 goals. Captain Roman Josi has 38 points, followed closely by Craig Smith and Calle Jarnkrok.

Thursday’s game showed us that the Predators are practically unstoppable when firing on all cylinders. Coach Laviolette mentioned some defensive breakdowns in Thursday’s game in his post-game interview, so I’m positive that will be worked on before today’s contest. Laviolette is skilled at identifying areas to work on without discounting the effort of his team.

Memories and Feelings

-Blues games are always fun, and there’s going to be tons of Blues fans inside Bridgestone. It’s a nationally broadcast game...let’s show them what the 7th Man looks like!

-A comeback victory sealed by a penalty shot less than two weeks ago...who could forget that game? I’m sure STL will have some jump in their step to avenge that disappointing loss.

Reasons to Watch

-A NATIONALLY BROADCAST HOCKEY GAME ON NBC!

-A Sunday game!

-An 11 a.m. game!

Today’s Theme Song

“I’m Bad, I’m Nationwide” by ZZ Top.

How to Watch

Today’s puck drop is at 11:00 AM Central. The game will be broadcast on NBC, and the radio call will be on 102.5 The Game.